Please Keep All Hands and Feet Inside While Others Decide Your Fate

So I sit and wait in an empty room with only my phone and a borrowed laptop without a power cord for company while the powers that be decide my fate. Let’s forget for one moment that I have Asperger’s and waiting with any degree of uncertainty is certainly much more exhausting and emotionally draining than any punishment they could dream up for me. Let’s forget that the great uncertainty is crippling to my poor fragile system. Let’s forget that I was only told half the story and was completely blind sided once more when I met with the powers that be (who by the way were somewhat apologetic and seemingly embarrassed about the entire thing as well as raised an eyebrow when they found out that I was not completely apprised of the situation). So I sit. It’s a make shift prison with the feeling of abandonment lurking in the corners. And curse karma for always kicking my ass when I feel like things are going well. I was very well reminded of the rule of 3 last night. You know, that crazy thing where you have 3 good things and then 3 bad things….wash, lather, repeat. I really feel like puking and that’s kinna taking over for some of the other senses that are supposed to be working but are not. It’s also keeping me from completely shutting down which I’m sure will actually be beneficial to me at some point. Because I feel like I’ve only had about 3 minutes sleep I’m an emotional train wreck hoping that I find a bridge that’s out so I can just crash and burn. The added bonus is that I can see that all the signs are connected to gigantic blinking red arrows that say “Point of no return. Abandon all hope those who enter here.” Once again I feel as if my only support system is in my phone. The ex-BB guy is less than useless in these situations and he usually says something stellarly stupid like “You need to stop letting this get you all worked up.” How he thinks that is helpful I have no idea at all. Other advice has been much more helpful. I think I did everything right. I listened, I nodded, I asked a few questions. I hope that I didn’t look guilty. I know that if you are neurotypical and you are reading this, you are prolly wondering how I would manage to look guilty if I wasn’t. Spectrum people have a hugely difficult time managing our facial expressions anyway. When you had a huge heaping cup of stress the entire operation goes amuck. Gotta love evolution. Added brain function, decreased ability to actually cope and function under stress. What demented super power is that? It’s technically not even helping me to blog about it except to recognise that I prolly do not have this particular talent in life. I have gotten pretty good at understanding my shortcomings over the years. I have even gotten pretty good at figuring out how to make my shortcomings look a little less like shortcomings. I have never really gotten good at fitting in or understanding the motivations of people. I’m definitely in Peter Gabriel’s “no man is an island” world today. It is very stressful. I wish I had more inner strength to draw on, but I used a great deal of that when all the stuff with Wee Geek was happening. So there are precious few reserves of that to draw upon when times get rough. I know that there are very few guarantees in life, but a few more warning lights would be helpful. And a Tardis. I could really use a Tardis.

Sometimes You Should Listen To The Past

You know, some people make major life decisions and just glide easily into the change without ever having to look back and without any regrets whatsoever. Some people can just make changes and never even blink. Autistic people have to measure everything about the change, feel out all the variables, think about every repercussion of every variable, obsess about the possibility of missing one of them and then rethink it all again.
We can’t ever think out every possibility. It’s prolly the curse of the whole Asperger’s thing. I don’t suffer from bouts of over confidence very often because I always have karma to kick me in the ass and hold me down for extra beatings just in case I start feeling cocky about any of it. I should listen to those little bits of karma. Every time in my life that I have tried to make a change without it being forced upon me via firing, relationship breaking up (another kind of firing I suppose), or legal action by an admittedly moronic judge in the insane police state of Delaware county….well, it’s never really gone well. Never once in 43 years has change initiated by me turned out okay. Forced change, however, actually turns out okay every now and then.
With forced change there is no opportunity to flounder endlessly in whatifs. Instead there is a sudden push into “oh my fucking god how do I stabilize again?” The other part of this is that there is actually some part of the autistic brain that actually functions pretty well under this kind of stress. The reality of it all is that our brains strive toward that sense of stability. We can’t function outside of it so we fight really hard to make it happen. The funny part about it is that we don’t really care how demented that stability is. We just need it. No matter what form it takes. I’m chuckling to myself right now because there have been times in my life when that “stability” has been pretty fucked up. And yet I still wanted the known, no matter how fucked up, much more than the uncertainty and thus the change. I think it’s difficult for neurotypical people to completely grasp this concept. They have no anxiety about this stuff. They also have not experienced the wonderful feeling of karma kicking them straight in the teeth every time they try to deal with a change. It’s amazing how non-frightening change is to those people and how horribly crippling and frightening change is to us.
It’s a process. Learning how to do change. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it gracefully. I will always have to be dragged kicking and screaming through it. I also know that karma really takes a great deal of pleasure in kicking my ass when I try to move forward. The one thing about doing the things you have to do is that once the people who have it easy in life discover that you will do what you have to, they will never ever let you do the things you want to. For instance, I really want to write. My attention is so scattered and distracted when I’m having to work and try to write. I would love to have a few weeks to completely concentrate on this zombie book and get it out the fucking door.
I have this overwhelming need to demand a do over. Why isn’t grown up life as clear cut as kindergarten. I don’t know if the rules made sense to me then, but they definitely make huge amounts of sense now. Mostly because I know how complicated and stupid grown up life is. I think, too, that karma takes a very perverse pleasure in knowing how much I would pay for one choice to work out for me just once. I know it’s a silly little pipe dream I have. Sigh. I don’t like complicated, but nothing is ever very easy in my life.
I will just be obsessing about all of the choices and decisions I’ve made lately. For the rest of the night. All night. Sigh.

Tales From My Sleep Number Bed

It’s been an insane last month. Believe it or not. I’ve been insanely busy with small children. Good because it’s my field, bad because I have been too busy to do anything that isn’t work related.  There have been lots of changes in the land of the not quite right, the least of which is all of the changes. We are still chasing down the cause of all of my elusive health issues. I am once again down with something for the second week in a row. I finally went to the doctor and got some antibiotic that I am so hoping will kick the ass of whatever it is that I’ve managed to catch. Cross your fingers.

In the meantime, we once again went to the Mothman Festival in beautiful Point Pleasant, West Virginia. It was a good trip with me and the Ex-Best Buy guy and Wee Geek and Mamaw. We didn’t hear any speakers this year, but we went on the tour of the TNT area which was highly enlightening. We learned a few new things and we got to see what it was really all about. And by that I mean that I got some great new ideas for the Mothman book. Which encourages me to get the zombie book done. Yep, I have lots of time for that. NOT. Maybe in a month my life will free up a little and I can start doing what’s important again. I hate when work takes over my life and I can’t do the things that make me feel alive.

The Ex-Best Buy guy has been somewhat utilizing his not working time. He has been doing some straightening up projects and little fix it things. Our room is slowly shaping up. We found an old poster that will be going into a new frame and get hung up. Maybe the steamer trunk will actually get converted.  He’s in a tizzy and named a mission so maybe some things will get done.

Wee Geek is doing well. He loves his new job and he’s actually truly happy for the first time since he came back in my life. There have been little seconds of happiness here and there. But he is truly happy and very proud of himself. He’s doing things that the asshole that is his father had him convinced that he couldn’t do. He’s doing it on his own which is huge steps for him. I’m super proud of him.

In other news, Ex-Best Buy guy is on a paranoid streak because he’s been watching too much news. There is a down side to his unemployed status. I try to keep him busy so the paranoia doesn’t run too awfully rampant. He’s already amping the security system. It is a little frightening. Well, dear readers, cross your fingers.

MWW 12 Reflections: Being a Literary Citizen

I’m still reflecting on things overheard at the Midwest Writer’s Workshop.  Go here to learn more. It’s a wonderful opportunity for writers right here in the heart of midwestern land .

I heard a lot about being a literary citizen. I’ve thought about this in depth for this last week. I’ve also thought about the people that I see doing this every day. Big shout out to who pulled a gigantic move of conscience and sent back his Eagle Scout badge this week. You can contact him on twitter, or just tune in to see what his thoughts are in general. or just find him @Kelsey Timmerman. Think about the stand he is taking and why it is occasionally important to stand up for what you believe in even if it means becoming a pariah in some of your normal social groups. Everyone loves a groupie, but they really aspire to be a star.

It’s not just about being active on all of the social media, which they made a huge deal out of. It’s not just connecting on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. It’s not just about interacting in communities that you think might help you. All of these things are good and even putting links to things like I just did twice already will prolly get you lots more readers, but there’s more to it than that. What is it about? Here is where you thank  your lucky stars that I’m here to think about this stuff for you, so that you don’t have to. Here is where you look at what I did and say to yourself….”Hmmmm….self, maybe I should ponder this for the hundredth of a second that social media will allow me to and see if this makes sense for me to do.”

I talked in great length with one of the social media consultants during the workshop ( who was absolutely brilliant in stroking my little writer’s ego, but also in suggesting new ways to boost my little writer’s ego for myself.  I’m not negating what my 10-25 regular readers do, I’m just saying that I’d like to boost my subscriptions AND feel as if I am actually doing something for my community that is fulfilling and satisfying. I have also been thinking of being a literary citizen in terms of extending the conversations that I am already having. The ones that hold meaning for me.

I’ve thought about what MY community is. I belong to lots of communities. All of them offer me something different in the fulfilling and satisfying department. My home community, although frustrating and the number one filler of blog content, is genuinely pretty satisfying and fulfilling. 

I belong to a community of writers. Actually a couple of them. This community has given me the courage to put myself out there and actually get published. It also has encouraged me to write. Not just stories, but things about myself, this blog and even a few articles here and there. This community has also given me friends and a time when I desperately needed to have friends so that I could transition from being Wee Geek’s mom to the wonderful autistic zombie girl that you have grown to know and to love.

I belong to the autistic community and this is where I feel the greatest responsibility. I cannot separate myself from the way that my brain works. It colours everything that I do, how I think, how I feel, how I interact with the world. Here is a great article about person first language by Jim Sinclair: . I feel a great responsibility toward this community mostly because I am the most in tune and intertwined with this community. It bugs the hell out of me that there are so few role models  for autistic people. Especially ones on the higher end of the spectrum. I also feel that we need to dispell the myths about autism because it is a spectrum and we need to ALL work together to make the world a better place for ALL of us. Not just the lower functioning people. Not just the higher functioning people. ALL of us as an autistic community. (I jump sheepishly down from the soapbox.)

I belong to a community of early education specialists. People who know the value of early intervention in the lives of children and their families. For me this means pinpointing developmental issues and trying to minimise their lasting effects on kids. We all know that the earlier we intervene with kids on the spectrum the higher functioning we can make them. Here is a good article on early intervention impacts (disregard the crap about ABA): . I believe this with all of my heart and soul. This also means working with families to make them understand that this is true and coming to grips with the autism diagnosis NOT being a death sentence. It also means enjoying little kids and sharing with their families why you can enjoy your little kids. Our families are in such crisis sometimes that they have forgotten to truly enjoy this wonderful little person that has been thrust upon them.

When I look at just these few communities that I belong to, I am overwhelmed by the impact that they have on me. These few communities only scratch the surface of the things that I am involved in, but they are all terribly integral to who I am as a person and what my belief system is. These are the communities that I care about contributing to and extended conversations about. In some cases I want to start important conversations in these communities and move on with them. I want to learn from these conversations and broaden my horizons with them.

So when I examine my idea of being a literary citizen. I hope that I’m being faithful to the things that I mean to be faithful to. I hope that I am conveying meaningful ideas that start conversations, add to them and make people want to continue them. I hope that I am doing these things in a thoughtful manner that encourage interactions. I also hope that I am doing these things in a thoughtful way that might make people discontinue interactions. This means that I am hitting home with someone and making them think in a way that is uncomfortable for them. Making them think outside of their boxes.

I encourage people in my communities and in other communities to do this as well. We cannot blindly follow. We must think and intervene. We must be good citizens of all of our communities and promote meaningful and thoughtful change when needed.

Go forth, all of you, and use your evil powers for good.

Notes from the Midwest Writer’s Workshop and Other Places Zombie Girls Might Thrive

I know that it’s been a little while, and I will get around to updating you. It’s been a very interesting and busy week including a little mini vacation. I wanted to fulfill my need to catalogue everything I see on some sort of notecard that I will tuck away in some dark and deep corner of my brain where I can access it later for what could turn out to be some illicit purpose.

I look around at the people who attend this writer’s conference and chuckle sardonically to myself. I want to interject here that I am much more relaxed at this particular conference than when I came here 2 years ago for the first time. Last time I came, I’d felt a little bit like I was trying to live up to some expectation that I couldn’t possibly ever live up to. This time, I just feel like going with it and trying to have fun, make good observations and learn something. I’m having lots of fun with observations today.

Today I am noticing that there is a little different crowd than was at the intensive sessions. Intensive sessions are all day classes on a specific topic. I had wanted to get in the manuscript makeover class, but Best Buy guy didn’t give me the money (as my birthday present) in time, so there were no slots open. I had to pick something else that may or may not have been helpful. In retrospect, it was only slightly in the may be helpful category. I would have been happier if I’d actually read the teacher’s stuff. I hadn’t. I also hadn’t read anything that anyone talked about during the entire session. Sigh. It was a long road with the promise of taking an idea to some semblence of fruition. In this class, there was a bullish man who tried to interject his ideas (none of them very good or very well thought out) into everything. He did this in a way that tried to warp everything into some strange Frankenstein monster of an idea. I did not enjoy that. I didn’t care enough to interject my own thoughts, I had decided to just go with the flow. I know, completely contrary to my normal autistic stance.

I look around today and see a few of those faces from yesterday, but I also see a few pretend people. That is to say, people who have an idea in their heads of what “real writers” look like, and they try to look like that. In other words, there’s some cosplay looking stuff going on here. A few examples: a guy with a steampunky waxed into curls mustache, a woman with an ostrich plume in her hair, a girl with a little 20’s inspired outfit, complete with flapper hat. It’s definitely an interesting group with a diverse idea of what being a writer means. There are lots of degrees of pretentiousness here which is a whole different range of scary.  I love it.

Post Wedding Apocalypse and Other Fallout

The heat hangs heavy in our house like velvet drapes around our bed and sleep eludes me. So it must be time for another blog. Finally! The first of the kids is out the door and off into whatever passes for wedded bliss these days. Although I have worried obsessively that Wee Geek would be the first, this has not been the case.

I have felt like the outsider perpetually looking in at an extremely bizarre passion play. This process has made an indelible impression on the Best Buy guy and I. He has struggled with lots if things and it has been painful and joyful all at the same time.

I have never seen the BB guy in a tux. He completely left me out of it all. He did it all himself and I did not see him in it until the day. He cleans up nicely and I don’t think I have ever seen him so puzzled nor so handsome. The man was at a loss and I had to dress him. Just like always we got through the hardest parts together.

The BB guy’s ex-wife has did a lot to make me feel included. It has brought up so many emotions for me that I feel overwhelmed with trying to pinpoint one. It was still a moment of disconnectedness and watchfulness. It was interesting to watch at any rate.

The BB guy has roller coasted from proud to feeling like a walking wallet. The skirmishes here have all involved money and he has become very sad over the reality of that. He has been left with a sour taste that nothing he has done has been good enough for his children in their own eyes. This especially resonates with us in reflection of Wee Geek who is acutely aware of the things that are done for him. What a difference having that chunk of time forcefully removed from us has made. Things have not been easy for him, this is assured. No one is paying his way through life and his father does not feel obligated toward anyone but himself.

I watched this wedding with amusement and sadness. It is exciting to watch two young people standing on the edge of life and priming themselves for the jump that will be the icy and cold water of reality. It is sad to watch my husband let go of something that was only fleetingly his.

This last year has reminded us of the promises we have made to each other and has tested them more than ever. We have been through the reappearance of Wee Geek in our life (which is nearing it’s year anniversary), double cataracts surgery for BB guy, the removing of a daughter from the payroll ( so to speak), and now the strangest thing, the partial loss of some of my vision.

This has been the oddest chapter so far. Although in looking back, I realise that this has probably been happening for some time. I woke up one Thursday morning to having no peripheral vision on my right side. A visit to the eye surgeon has left us puzzled. There seems to be no cause and the tests are not good. My eyes are healthy. I have had nothing like a fall or a head bump to precipitate a problem. I am having horrible headaches from the struggle of my eyes to focus together. This has also made a significant decrease in my abilities of depth perception. Which makes steps look like sloping insurmountable hills and all surfaces are suddenly suspect because I’m unable to perceive their subtle changes. I feel helpless and afraid. I do not know what this holds for our future, but fear a further stressful test. A visit to the neuro-opthalmologist has not really yielded many more answers. All signs seem to be pointing to lupus and so the next step in an anabolic nucleur blood test that may or may not give us any anwers.

In the meantime, I’m feeling the full weight of every ache and every pain and I’m trying to not let it send me through the roof with worry. I know that this is something that’s been happening for a long time. It’s one of those things that is conclusive after they’ve ruled everything else out. Wee Geek worries that both of his parents are ill and what this means for him. I’m worried about being able to function and BB guy seems content to sit and wait. I know it’s not really doing any good to worry while we wait, but still. In the big picture, everything else seems stupid.

I think a lot about the potential effect of all of this and it’s daunting. I’m trying very hard to stay off the websites because this seems to only add to the mounting panic that I’m barely keeping at bay. This is where the Asperger’s adage of prepare for the worst really comes in handy. In the meantime, I feel like crap all the time. My head hasn’t stopped hurting in weeks and as an added bonus plan, I feel nauseous all of the time. I’m not really too impressed with this feeling, and today, I feel like I just need to go home and lie down.

That sounds so good that I think I will do it.

First Mother’s Day in 5 years and Other Sordid Passings

I’m sorry that I’ve neglected you for so long, dear readers. As we have moved through life in the last couple of months, what little energy I have seems directed at other projects. Funny how life sneaks up on you like that and overtakes you. It scoops you up and drags you along in the current of it and threatens to roll you into the undertow. Attempts to drown you in the feeling of it all.

Wee Geek is on a more even keel. Getting patient assistance for his meds and keeping him going on them has made a huge difference. He seems to feel better all the way around too. He seems to have a better grasp on this relationship thing, too. Always a good thing. He gets it more than I did at his age, thank goodness.

Wee Geek turns into a greater and greater kid with every day that passes.  He asked for Mother’s Day off and fought work over it. He went to Dayton to pick up my mom and bring her to Muncie for lunch at Outback and to go see “Dark Shadows”. It was a fantastic day in that respect.

I was struck by how truly happy that moment made me. I sat across from my son in the booth and could hardly wipe the stupid grin off my face. I was so grateful for this moment that I have been deprived off for 5 years. What no one realises is that when you go through what we did there is so much emotional crap to wade through. I know that back in 2007 that idiot judge did not care in the slightest that it was the Friday before Mother’s Day. Or maybe he did. Maybe that was the ultimate punishment. Maybe that was the point. Some days I am in absolute certainty that it was exactly what he meant. Other days I know without any uncertainty that it is just the corruption that oozes out of every pore of the Delaware County court system.

I don’t know if they knew that I would spend 5 years doubting all sorts of things about myself. I spent a lot of time questioning everything I’ve ever done for Wee Geek. It is difficult to hold your entire life under a microscope and examine it. It’s worse to watch others do it for illicit purposes. Suddenly, every decision, every word I’d ever spoken, every word I hadn’t spoken, every fiber of me was being looked at and criticized. Beyond harshly, too. It was as if I was dead and they’d given my ex-husband a platform or at least a license to stomp on my body. I’m not a person who can afford to wallow in self regrets and bad choices. If I gave in to that I would get nothing else done. EVER….

But 5 years of questioning and turning every moment around and around in my head took a real toll on me personally and emotionally. It has taken me awhile to stop looking at everything and trying to second and triple guess what my ex and the lawyers and the judge were going to piece out and decide to penalize me over.

I feel in my heart and soul that I always made the choices for Wee Geek that I did because I was using all of the information that I had and with the best possible intentions. It makes me very angry that all of these people who did not live in my life and did not have to live out the consequences were making all of these massive decisions in my life. Terrifying. It’s easy to make a heart breaking choice when it’s not your heart that’s breaking, I guess. I wonder how they would have behaved with their identities being completely yanked out from under them. That is essentially what they did to me. My entire identity was Wee Geek’s mom. Suddenly I wasn’t a mom anymore. I was just this empty shell of a girl who’d lost everything that meant anything.

So I thought about all of these things as I sat across from my son. In my happiness, all of those horrid angry feelings had relocated. They have been entertaining the little guy in the back if my brain for a few days. He’s easily amused.

I thought about some other things as well. How life goes in circles mostly. It’s a very strange path that we travel on in this life and we must follow the road whether or not it is paved with yellow bricks. Mostly not. At least in my case. I’m sure that my ex takes a great deal of pleasure thinking that he’s gotten away with something akin to murder. He also revels in the thought that he’s ruined me financially, while he sits and never pays for for anything that he’s done in any way once again.  It very much feels like that. I hate to dwell on it or to even feel as if I’m dwelling on it, but it’s difficult to muster up any feeling that is not ill will when every day is a reminder that I can’t help Wee Geek with something or that he’s not able to follow his dreams because his dad is a selfish bastard. It’s not fair to anyone. But it’s most not fair to Wee Geek and that is what upsets me.  That he continues to have to pay for the mistake I made.

Past that, there have been other happenings in this past few months. Things that have reminded us of what is important. We continue to struggle to keep Wee Geek where he is and independent. However, we also continue to see the giant blinky yellow arrow sign of doom that points out the road back to home. He worries about this. I worry about this. We keep trying to put a rosy face on this uncertain future. It will not be easy in the coming months. He’s afraid that he will lose his independence. I keep telling him that there won’t be much difference and I cannot seem to make him realise that you have to move forward even when the future feels so awful and uncertain. Of course, that uncertainty is almost the kiss of death for an autistic lot. We’re getting throught it.

I have lots of thoughts that have gone through my brain as of late. Thinking of Wee Geek and how we are getting through all of this. How will we survive? I have no idea. I only know that we will.

I have once again made connections with my past that are amazing. I am always happy to make connections with old friends, but this one is certainly a cherished one. This particular old friend wandered away when I was being isolated, however, it was not because there was no friendship there. It was because there was nothing left to say or do.  Sometimes when friends can’t help you on your path, they have to let you go on your way and wait for you. That is what this friend and a lot of others did for me. This friend reminded me today that I was instrumental in his choice of name when he changed it. That is amazing to me that I did that for a friend. So this connection is an important reminder that you cannot escape your past, but it is not always unpleasant. At a time when much of my past feels immensely unpleasant, I am grateful for this reminder that not all of the things associated with that time in my life are awful. Some of them were good.

We are standing on the precipice of another event in our lives. Best Buy guy’s oldest daughter gets married this weekend. We spent the weekend looking for a dress. After buying two dresses at a department store, one of which I hated and one of which BB guy hated, I wandered into Goodwill and found a great dress that we both love for $3. Can’t beat that with a sharp stick in the eye, so I’m going with it. Took the other two dresses back. We’ve spent the biggest part of the evening looking for a father daughter dance song. He’s decided on something, I think. It will be all right.

I have this feeling that there are a lot of things that we are standing on the edge of. The summer will come to pass and we will see what it brings. I am standing and facing it with this brave little face. I know no other way to do it. Great old world resolve inside of me, I suppose.

I will go forward. Trying to hold the torch high for Wee Geek to follow. The future will bring whatever it brings. We have no choice but to follow the path. Wherever it leads.

Sorting Through Relationships and the People Who Model the Process

   As I watch Wee Geek navigate through the universe, I am struck by the ease that he does it with.  He, of course, thinks he is horrible at it. He isn’t, though. He has so much more grace than I did at that time in my life. So much confidence. It amazes me. I had no idea who I was at 20 years old.  For that matter, I didn’t even have a very clear idea about who I wasn’t. When I think about it, now, it terrifies me.  Not having a clear sense of who you are is fine, but not knowing what you aren’t opens you up to all sorts of problems. I was like a giant magnetized mindfield for problems at that age.  Which made relationships a nightmare. I had no idea whatsoever about who I could trust, so I defaulted to trusting everyone.  Now I default the other way, I trust no one until they prove that they are trustworthy. That’s a pretty lengthy process in this little corner of the universe.

So I watch Wee Geek navigate this first very serious relationship and my feelings range from cautious for his heart to broken hearted for him. He’s at bad at unsaid and unwritten clues as I am, and girls send out pretty confusing signals sometimes. A few weeks ago they had agreed to take a break.  I don’t know what this means, but apparently it was a signal for Wee Geek to cool his jets a little.  Instead, with his medical insurance recently and so kindly stopped by his dad and a dwindling supply of meds, he was plunged into a heart breaking depression that seemed to have no light.

I understand this so profoundly.  Relationships are especially difficult because we often have no idea why the other person gives up on us. This isn’t to say that we weren’t told, we have a tendency to just ignore it and hope it will get better and the other person will realise that we can’t live without them and stay.  We are forever oblivious to the idea that this might be exactly why the other person bails out. Ironic, huh?

So, I watch him go through this first hard love and try to give him advice that doesn’t sound horrifically motherly.  It often sounds exactly like that, I’m afraid. I just try and make him understand that sometimes there isn’t an answer and sometimes we can’t get the closure that we need from the other person.  Unfortuneately, most of the time, that’s the part that kills us most. Not knowing how things got to be so awful and not knowing how these things can be fixed. We can’t stand not fixing things that go wrong in our lives.

Wee Geek has had so many odds against him since he left his dad. This weekend really highlighted that. He just got his car fixed a few weeks ago. It was a fairly pricey fix and sent him into a huge meltdown for about three days. This stall out occurred on the way to the dance that they DID eventually end up at as you can see from the photographic evidence. He was already so stressed feeling and then on the way there his car breaks down. He calls frantically and I spend a great deal of time trying to remind him that  this has a fix of some sort and that we will deal with it. I want him to start being able to put himself through the checklist so that he can minimize his meltdowns. I know that at times, this is difficult. It’s hard to think about whether or not you are safe when you are so frustrated.

I think about how many times I’ve needed Mazaria to guide me through this checklist when I’m in full scale meltdown. Are you safe? Are others around you safe? If you’re not or they’re not, what can you do to change this as quickly as possible? Are you breathing? If not, then start. What’s the most important thing that is happening right this second? Now start calming yourself down. Breathe. Stim a little. Okay, are you feeling better?

So, I’m trying to teach Wee Geek that this is definitely an integral part of managing your stress when you are on the spectrum.  He’s slowly learning. It’s a great big trial and error process because once you are in full meltdown, there’s no going back.  So, he also has to learn how to catch it so that it doesn’t go into meltdown.  I hear evidence that he is starting to learn to manage this great feat.  Because this is something that can occasionally be insurmountable.  I love watching him learn this and I cheer when he masters it and I cry when he doesn’t quite make it. It’s part of life. Managing and not managing and knowing who to call when you’re not managing.  Tied to this is learning to not be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Other relationships keep popping up. Today is Mazaria and I’s 25th anniversary. It’s so hard to believe that we have been friends that long and I am amazed knowing that there is someone in my life that I’ve got so much history with. We have been through everything together and we have remained soul mates for all of this time. I feel sorry for our husbands sometimes because in the event of an apocalypse they become zombie fodder fairly quickly.  I take a great deal of pride and confidence from this relationship because it means that I’m not broken. Ccome to think of it, it might mean that someone is more broken than me. LOL. Well, that certainly puts a different spin on this relationship….

When Wee Geek’s car broke down, I had to call my dad to help me go and get him. Not necessarily my first choice, but the only option at the time. It turned out okay. But I am hugely grateful that I did not have to leave my car with Wee Geek and ride back with him and his wife. That relationship is still more complicated than I can manage. I especially don’t welcome parenting advice from someone who spends most of their time in lala land and who was never anyone I would want to model my parenting skills after anyway. I feel parts of the relationship with my dad coming back slowly, but for the most part, I still feel as if this relationship is permanently ruptured and it can never be put back the way that it was. I will forever resent that he put his wife’s needs to present the “happy family” to the world over keeping his relationship with his daughter intact.  That’s crazy to me.  Of course, none of my relationships are completely devoid of those little insanity moments. Since I cut my brother off from stalking me on Facebook, he now stalks my blog and bitches to everyone about what I write. Yep, I’m calling you out. Don’t behave like my ex-husband. If you want to know what’s going on with me, call me. You have my phone number.

As I look at all of the relationships that I’ve had in my life, these little hints help me to navigate the future better. We are making decisions about Wee Geek’s living arrangements and as long as his dad continues to live under the Scott-free program, then we will eventually have to make the important decision about whether or not he has to come home. He is terrified that he will lose his independence. I just look at it from an ever practical view. We do what we have to to keep him going. Sometimes these things are uncomfortable for everyone.

There are other complicated relationships, the Best Buy guy and his dad are once again bumping heads about the clean up of the farm and it has become so serious that we may lose the farm completely. This is a farm that has been in his family for 9 generations. It would be a shame to lose the farm. We have finally decided to pursue guardianship before things get any worse. this has not been an easy decision. I dread that I might have to do this with my parents some day. I am grateful that I have the experience so that laater if I do have to go through this, it will be easier. It’s very difficult to prioritize what needs to be done because so many things have to be done. There’s so many things that have to be done first, as well. I sigh sometimes when I think about all of the work that is ahead of us. I’m glad that the Best Buy guy’s nephew is now helping out. It’s still too big of a job for just the two of them, but it makes it a little more manageable.

Now, I am exhausted. Thinking about all of this stuff is very stressful sometimes. I’m also having a major allergy attack that is interfering with my thinking.  Pollen is through the roof right now. So, dear reader, until the next time, we must part ways. I’m working feverishly on a new short story for another PMP anthology and still trying to get the zombie book under control. I promise that something will squeak through this year.

Tales of a Bully Become Lawyer

So for the second time in one week, I had to visit the lovely walls of the Delaware County courthouse.  I do not relish these trips. They are a gigantic pain in the ass first of all. Especially because my ex whines that he is too sick to drive to court, but he’s not too sick to stalk my kid and to sit around and think up ways to be a complete and total ass. It’s very frustrating for Wee Geek and me both that he seems to always get a pass for his reprehensible behaviour.

We are used to being different and to being called out for thinking differently, but court is the one place where our differences seem to be counted as a criminal offense rather than an asset. It is the one place that we cannot seem to make any reasonable accommodations work for us. Actually in the legal system, there is no such thing as accommodations, reasonable or otherwise, for people on the spectrum. Especially since we “don’t look autistic”. I’ve been thinking alot about what that means. The phrase looms up in my mind’s eye over and over.  What does autism look like?

In my family it is 5’2″ with auburn and purple hair. It is also almost 6′ tall with curly blonde hair. We are both extremely near sighted. We both have sharp, quick, and sardonic wit that will turn on you in a moment. We both have kind hearts that are way too big for us. So in our family it looks alike and different. We both have tics. We are both terrified of specific situations especially when they involve social interactions that we are unfamiliar with. But I see in Wee Geek a much better way to adapt than I have. He is so much better at blending than I am. I am amazed at this. His wonderful ability to feel so okay in his skin and to go with it. He tells me sometimes that he feels like an imposter, but he’s not.  I see his acclimation is almost perfect. Of course, I’m still comparing him to me. So, not comfortable in this skin.

So, court. My ex’s lawyer is nothing but a big bully. I imagine that she was just this awful fat kid in school that everyone picked on and then some smartass put her in debate club. Gave her the power to argue. Taught her how to twist the truth into an unrecognizeable blob that means less than the lies that they manufacture to transform them into sharks with bullies living inside. These bullies scream to get out and beat down others to make themselves feel better.

This Friday’s events could have been solved over the phone and through email and fax with my attorney. But no, the asshole’s lawyer is a bully and she threatened me that if I did not go to court on Friday that she would have a warrant put out for my arrest. If you ever for a moment doubt the insanity of my life, think about that for a moment. Think about the massive stupidity of that. It’s no wonder that the stress of the week leading up to Friday made me call a dear drag queen loving girlfriend and beg her to be my drinking buddy for the evening. The three of us NaNo buddies ended up in a local bar. I arrived first. Walked into this bar that is not a usual haunt for me at all with about 15 people sitting inside. Warning, this sounds like a joke….and all 15 sets of eyes turned in my direction and all conversation stopped. For one brief and paranoid moment I wondered if they had been talking about me. I know it’s ridiculous. But I actually thought this, though. I texted my friend. “Hurry up, people are starting to stare.” And a minute later, “Should I put my clothes back on?” The inevitable comment back, “No, honey, it’s not your nakedness that they are staring at.” For a minute, I laughed. Ignoring the double meaning of that. Preferring to laugh it out and be happy that at least my personality still makes me stick out more than being naked in a bar. Just for the record, I was not actually naked.

So, I awoke on Friday morning, after day 5 of crappy sleep with no relief, with at least a renewed sense of being able to cope for at least long enough to get through the fight I needed to wage. I also went with the advice of my lawyer to not give the bullying whore a dime. I was determined. She came out asking me if I agreed to the deal she’d sent to my lawyer. Which was that I would give her $10 a week on top of the garnishment that they are already taking. In Indiana, the maximum that they can garnish from you for a debt is 25% of your pre tax income. Believe me, what’s left over is barely enough to live on. If I wasn’t living in a home that my husband owned with him paying all of the bills, I would never be able to live on my own. There’s not enough left over. This garnishment serves another purpose as well, it makes sure that I can baarely help Wee Geek at all. It’s a damn good thing we’re both so resourceful.

So then the bully lawyer brings a paper asking me to agree to pay $25 a week. She accused me of hiding money. I offered to get a sheriff’s officer and go somewhere so that she could document that there is not a money tree growing out of my ass. She has seen the tax returns, she knows the profit from the book is minimal. My ex is allowed to make over $100,000 a year with no consequences, and I am punished for my meager teacher’s salary. I was emphatic that I would not be signing that paper. She threatened to take me in front of the judge. I agreed that we should go to the judge. I think he needs to hear that her slime ball client kicked his autistic son out of his house into the street without a car, with no idea of where he would go. He cancelled his health insurance and now he can’t get his meds. I think a judge should hear how he’s left our child with a disability and a mental illness without meds and without a home. She disappeared and came back with a paper that basically said I agreed to another garnishment. I did not leave the courthouse until that paper said what I thought it should say.

Ex husband slime ball piece of shit that you are, I know you stalk me online. I know you read my blog. It is illegal for you to open Wee Geek’s mail. In Ohio, he is a legal adult. You also cannot keep his Cobra paperwork from him. I intend to call the insurance company on Monday and make sure that they know that Wee Geek has not received it. That’s illegal, too. Not too damn much you’ve done in the last 20 years has been legal, but we are going to have to overlook some of that. Mostly because we can’t do anything about it.

Wee Geek and I constantly are amazed at how little his father has managed to actually do for him in the last 20 years. We are flummoxed that the court system has let him get away with it and has practically given him a paved access road for doing absolutely the bare minimum. There have been several moments when he’s done even less. Wee Geek tells me little things sometimes. I already knew that his dad was making him pay for everything he touched in his life, using the excuse that I wasn’t helping out in any way. Wee Geek now realises that his dad is a manipulator of the worst kind. He is so tired of his dad getting away with being a chameleon who makes people believe his lies. It’s a little pathetic. It is history repeating itself. This is the way that his father was as well.

So, after all of that. I came home with a headache the size of Texas and absolutely exhausted. I had not slept all week. I called in and told my director that I was done out and taking another personal day. I hate using my paid time off for stupid shit. I slept the afternoon away, intermittently chatting with my girlfriend. Answering a few calls. Talked to the Best Buy guy. I still don’t feel totally caught up on my sleep, but I think that I might actually be able to get some writing done tomorrow. Maybe I can talk my girls into Bingo again this week. We had much fun last week.

This has been an exhausting week. I am done out in so many ways. I do, however, fill like I won a little something. I’m counting it as a win, anyway. Don’t burst my bubble. That would really suck. I hope that I start seeing some more winning feelings coming this way. I’m tired of the way things have been. It’s as if the asshole is trying to make sure that Wee Geek and I cannot enjoy having each other back. It’s as if he is trying to make it so hard that Wee Geek thinks he has to go back there. That won’t ever happen, but I’m sure in the asshole’s twisted little brain that makes perfect sense. He’s an idiot.

So dear reader, Wee Geek and I continue to move forward. Make plans. Live together in these parallel lines. Enjoying each other. Learning how to move in this world as a team. No longer alone. Stronger by that virtue alone.

How to Care for your Autistic Child and Other Stories of Neglect

I’m so amazingly frustrated today.  Seriously.  Wee Geek took a day off and drove 6 hours round trip to go to court and not see the judge. Actually I took a day off to go to court and sit outside while the lawyers talked. Why they can’t do this over the phone without my sitting out in the lobby, I have no idea. Apparently my ex’s whore lawyer can’t solve problems this way.  Of course, my ex didn’t show up again.  The problems in this are unbelievable.

Wee Geek gets pulled out of school for not paying the last $1000 dollars because his dad’s lawyer stalls us out of court for 6 months and now we owe $3600.  The school gives him F’s for the two classes that he was trying to complete. Now the ex’s thing is that he shouldn’t have to help with Wee Geek. Oh, my other favourite part is that now that I’m involved with him again, he’s failing again. He’s failing because his dad screwed with his head and wouldn’t help with his school.

The bottom line is that we have a child with a disability and a mental illness. I’m sorry that my stupid ex-husband can’t admit this and deal with it. I’m sorry that he wants to blame all of this on me, but this is reality. I’m not being mean, I’m being honest. My ex made the problems that Wee Geek has worse than ever. The child feels guilty that I bought him a pair of jeans for heaven’s sake!  His dad made him feel worthless whenever he asked for help and now he’s afraid to do it.  He’s afraid to take any kind of help from anyone because his dad made him feel like everything must be paid for.

There are so many reasons to be mad at Wee Geek’s dad. He told this kid for 4 years that he was worthless and had potential to be a loser and that he would never be successful. Now he works double hard to make sure he fails.  What kind of parent tries to insure the failure of his child? He made Wee Geek feel like like he wasn’t worthy of anything and made him feel guilty for asking for things. It’s just ridiculous.  Wee Geek showed me Facebook messages from his dad that were little else but extortion attempts. He told him that he would have to pay back the parent plus loans that he took out for Wee Geek’s school.  He’s always been this way. He only wanted to be a parent when it was convenient for him and he never thought he should have to help pay for things. He’s a moron.

Wee Geek and I had to have another talk about telling me the truth and not telling me what he thinks I want to hear. It’s ridiculous, but I guess when you know that his dad beat the hell out of him whether or not he told the truth, it makes sense that he doesn’t.  It’s just sad and makes it hard to deal with him sometimes.  Wee Geek is starting to learn that I’m trying to act in his best interest. We had too talk about the importance of staying consistent with his meds again. He’s decided to drop the ADD med and go back to just the mood balancer. I told him that was a good decision. He thought I’d be upset. I’m more upset that he’s put me through this freaking roller coaster from hell the last few months.

So while I struggle to try and figure out why my ex husband is such a jackass, my kid is left hanging in the wind trying to figure out his whole life. He shouldn’t be in this position. I guess I should have picked a better dad for him. Of course, you never know that they are going to become jackasses until they do, do you?  I get so angry thinking that they caused these problems and that they may get off the hook again.  I get so angry that they continually seem to pat him on the back and excuse his bad behaviour. I get so angry that Wee Geek and I are once again cleaning up some fucked up mess that his father invented.  Now as much as I enjoy playing momma, I sure as hell don’t want to do it for my careless ex.

Wee Geek and I do not feel the entire day was wasted.  We were able to talk about a few things.  Mainly how he feels about his dad.  He is very angry about the way that his dad and stepmother treated him. He’s very angry that they lied to him so much. He is particularly upset that they made him think that I didn’t care about him and that I wasn’t helping in any way.

It feels as if they spent all this time trying to poison his brain. They definitely used his meds to control him and make him docile. He resents that they pretty much ignored him after they had their own kid. He resents that they used everything he cared about to try and control him. They certainly used it to abuse him.  He is so confused about so many things.  Not confused in a bad way, but confused in that all the people he was supposed to be able to count on, betrayed him so immensely. He should be able to count on his dad to do the right thing and show him how to be a man. All he did was learn that he doesn’t want to be the kind of man his dad is.

So, he is somewhat straightened out again. Doctor’s appointment on Friday with meds. Changing address at school. He’s going to call Cincy Children’s to get his diagnosis evaluated so that someone in Ohio will recognise it.  It’s just so frustrated with all of the cuts in everyone’s budgets that kids like Wee Geek are slipping through the cracks again.  Few people understand what it really means to have a child as wonderful as Wee Geek with his unique problems as well.

I think that both Wee Geek and I are fine with the idea of him washing his hands of Wee Geek. We just don’t think that he should be able to not be financially responsible for him. It’s not fair. The best part of this whole thing is that Wee Geek isn’t really even upset that his dad is doing this shit to him. He’s more upset that his dad is putting me through all this stress. It sucks.  I hate that Wee Geek feels abandoned. I hate that Wee Geek cannot have a relationship with his father.  I want him to have a relationship with him. I just want it to be on Wee Geek’s terms.  I hate that the only way to have a relationship with his dad is to do everything his way and everything he says.  This is no way to have a relationship with anyone.

Wee Geek is coming to just hang out for a couple days next week when he’s on vacation.  I’m glad he wants to come home and just hang out. I’m glad he’s such a good kid. I’m sad he’s got a jackass for a dad.

Sigh.  Thanks so much ex husband for completely neglecting your kid. It’s one thing to not recognise that he has problems. But it’s something completely different to neglect him out of complete jackassery. I get that you don’t want to deal with the kid now that he’s out of high school and you can’t collect child support for him or steal his paychecks. I get that it’s no fun to have to be responsible for a kid. But seriously? He’s still your responsibility whether you want it or not. You can’t change the fact that he is still your kid.

It is an awesome responsibility to be a parent. You must always keep in the back of your mind that you are the model for that child.  It’s worse to be the same sex parent as that child. I feel like that is even more awesome a responsibility. Because you must ever be mindful that there is a chance your child will grow up just like you. After all, Wee Geek’s dad is just like his dad. I hope that Wee Geek changes this awful cycle.  There are crazy studies about how kids who grow up in abusive homes continue that cycle of abuse.  I can’t imagine wanting nothing better for your child.

Even the Best Buy guy feels sorry for Wee Geek in all of this. I think we all feel that if we weren’t living this crap every day, that it would be too unbelievable to imagine.

All I can do is hope that this resolves itself in some way for Wee Geek’s best interest.  It seems like whenever I act in Wee Geek’s best interest, I get screwed.  Maybe I should just be a selfish prick like my ex and things would work out better for me.

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